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Phil's Rambling Rants
November 15th, 2004
06:20 pm

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Windycon report, part 1

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From:billroper
Date:November 16th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC)
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I'll give the minority report on multiple instruments:

Generally, I think this is a bad idea. If you are a young, normal, healthy adult and can't carry your instruments and music in two hands, you may be bringing too many instruments to the filk. It takes up more space, it causes more chaos in the circle as you're switching around, and it usually doesn't improve the quality of the sing.

There are exceptions to this rule. But they start at Bill Maraschiello and work down from there. :)

Ok, more seriously, what are the exceptions?

1) You play something huge like a harp or string bass.
2) You have one extra instrument that you can usually keep tucked away easily -- a mandolin comes to mind.
3) You have a few different drums that have distinctive sounds and that don't take up much space. Or guitars that are well stowed. And then you get there early to set up. And stay late. :)
4) You are far enough along in years that a cart seems like a really good idea.

(Actually, looking back at your original post, I see the discussion is more oriented toward getting to and from the car. Carts are a great idea there if you have more than you can handle. Just not such a great idea for the filk.)
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From:tigertoy
Date:November 16th, 2004 10:22 am (UTC)
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In principle, I agree with the idea that only carrying what you can handle is a good idea. In fact, before I had the second guitar I liked to leave the case in the room and only carry the guitar itself and the bag with my filk book, etc. Leaving the case behind does more to minimize the awkwardness and disruption of getting in and out of the room than anything else.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to only carry one guitar to the filk, and still *have* both of them to play on. There are some songs I play that do not work on a 12 string, and there are others that definitely sound much better on the 12. Having two guitars is new for me and I am not sure if I will continue to take both to the filk all the time, but I am sure that whichever one I leave behind I will find myself wanting.

The really important aspect of traveling light but not too light, beyond exercising some restraint if you own a whole music store's worth of instruments, is in the other stuff, not the instruments. Unless you have a much better memory than I have, you should always have a book. (It's important to learn to perform to the audience and not the book, but Frank Hayes' disease is really a funny-once joke. And it's been done.) If you have a book, you should have a music stand. People who use chairs as music stands are a minor peeve of mine: they hold the music too low, tending to cause the person to scrunch down and project into the floor, and the chair back gets between the person and the circle blocking the view. And I really prefer to have a guitar stand to set my guitar in, rather than trusting that it won't get knocked over while I'm going to the bathroom.
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